Thursday, August 17, 2017
D&D Beyond splurge
D&D Beyond went from beta to release status, and I decided to buy the "Legendary Bundle": $280 for a digital version of *all* existing 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons books, plus rebates on future content. I wanted to have a legal, searchable version of the rules, and a character builder with all options, and that is what this bundle provides.
However there are some obvious caveats: While $280 is just about half of what I already paid for the physical books, it is still a significant chunk of money to pay for content I already owned in paper form. The content is digital, but to the best of my knowledge only available online, not offline, which isn't ideal for mobile content. And of course Dungeons & Dragons has 40 years of history of handling digital content very badly, from pursuing people creating homebrew content on Usenet to a string of digital products that over-promised and severely under-delivered.
To some extent it was a question of principle. A simple Google search gets you the same rule books and adventures illegally for free, as pirated pdf files, which work offline. But it is the fear of that sort of piracy that prompted TSR / WoTC in the past to restrict digital distribution. Buying the bundle is sending a message that digital content is very necessary for a pen & paper game in this day and age, and that some people are willing to pay for it.
Ultimately the purchase is a gamble, a risk. I'm betting that there is some benefit to having access to all this material online, and that Curse is going to improve the usefulness further, rather than messing it up. I just hope I am right about that.
Labels: Dungeons & Dragons